New Student Orientation

New Student Orientation

UH Hilo's New Student Orientation - group photograph of incoming class

Aloha and welcome new student to the New Student Orientation program! New Student Orientation is filled with fun activities, events, and workshops all designed to create connections with other new students, with our amazing UH Hilo faculty, and with numerous campus resources and the awesome staff that run them. We invite you to immerse yourself in the vibrant spirit of our university's culture and traditions during New Student Orientation. By participating in our program, you'll cultivate a strong sense of belonging and place, forging lasting bonds with fellows students, faculty, and staff that will accompany you throughout your journey at our university.

Spring 2024 New Student Orientation

New Student Orientation is open freshmen and transfer students of all class standings. There’s a little bit of everything for everyone. The Vulcan Orientation program is on Thursday, January 4th and Friday, January 5th and spans into the first week of instruction.

This year, New Student Orientation is Free. However since there is a max capacity for parts of our programs, space is limited and on a first-come-first-served basis. We look forward to meeting all of you!

Vulcan Orientation Tentative Schedule: January 4th-6th

1. Thursday, January 4th: Develop a Sense of Belonging

  • 10:00am Check-In at the Campus Center Plaza
    • Campus ID & Packets
    • Meet your Orientation Leader/Group
  • 10:15am Shuttles Start to Opening Venue
  • 12:00pm Kipaepae & Convocation
  • 1:00pm Luncheon
  • 2:00pm Kūpe'e Making Workshop
  • 3:00pm Pau

"He pili wehena ʻole. (#896)"
(A relationship that cannot be undone.)

2. Friday, January 5th: Develop a Sense of Place

  • 8:00am Check-In at the Campus Center Plaza
    • Breakfast
    • Campus ID & Packets
    • Meet your Orientation Leader/Group
  • 9:30am Bus Tours of Hilo / Wahi Pana
  • 11:30am Lunch
  • 12:30pm Campus Tours
  • 2:00pm Pau

A view of Hilo bay from Coconut island

3. Saturday, January 6th: Welcome Pool Party & BBQ at the Student Life Center Pool

Due to the weather, this event will be postponed to a later day. A notice will go out once the new date is settled.


Hele mai (come) over to the Student Life Center to kick off the semester with a splash! Make new friends, play a variety of games, and create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime. Free meaʻai (food) while supplies last! Invite your orientation friends and let them know you're ready to dive into the semester. Don't miss out on the fun cause wai (water) not!

Vulcan Ohana Week of Welcome Schedule: January 8th-12th

1. Monday, January 8th: Student Organization Fair at the Campus Center Plaza


The "Let's Get Involved!" Fair is a great chance for new students to explore UH Hilo's various student organizations (clubs) and introduce themselves to student life on campus! We encourage you to join a student organization, meet current students, and engage in fun activities perfect for new Vulcans!

2. Tuesday, January 9th: Campus Resource Fair at the Campus Center Plaza


The "Steps to Success!" Fair highlights various campus programs and services available to any student and all in one place! Departments will host a table at the fair and are readily available to answer any questions you may have. This is an excellent opportunity for you to gather important resources that will help you throughout your first year and learn more about our campus!

3. Wednesday, January 10th: Financial Aid Is Spilling The Tea at the Library Lanai


Join the Financial Aid Team for free Teapresso drinks on while supplies last! Come learn about changes to the 2024-25 FAFSA, scholarship opportunities and other financial aid awareness topics. We hope to see you there!

4. Thursday, January 11th: 1st Basketball Home Games of 2023-24 at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium

  • a. Women's Basketball Game: UH Hilo vs. Dominican Penguins at 5:00pm**
  • b. Men's Basketball Game: UH Hilo vs. Dominican Penguins at 7:00pm**

Come out and cheer on our incredible athletes and show your school pride. UH Hilo students (Vulcans) and faculty must show a valid student ID card at the gate for free admission! Vulcans get a free hotdog and drink!

5. Friday, January 12th

  • a. Creative Cafe at Campus Center room 301
    12:00pm-4:00pm Come join the Student Activities Council (SAC) and enjoy a baked good and iced coffee while you decorate your own vision board for your ideal prom. Help SAC plan this semester's prom-themed event!

  • b. Wailau at the Library Lanai
    4:00pm-5:00pm Wailau is a series of themed storytelling events that build connections between members of our campus and wider community that go deeper than the roles we hold and honor our complex, fragile, fascinating and brave selves. Each event will explore a different theme and we seek to showcase five storytellers - a UH faculty member, UH staff member, UH student, UH alum, and a community member. This semester's theme focuses on the question, “Why not?”

  • c. Laser Tag at Campus Center room 301
    7:00pm-9:00pm Join the UH Hilo Student Association, Student Activities Council, and University Radio Hilo to Blast Off to Pizza Planet and into the new school year. Show up with your friends for a friendly game of Laser Tag! There will be free pizza & refreshments and a space for you all to mingle while listening to some jams. There will be up to 9 rounds with various team compositions. Don't have a team? No sweat, we can add you to team. See you there!

6. Saturday, January 13th: ‘Aha Mele Aloha at the Campus Center Plaza


Welcome to UH Hilo! Let's kick off the new semester by saying "aloha" to the new academic year with a concert featuring local musicians and band performances! Don't forget your Aloha Attire and to look out for flyers and social media posts first 100 get free bentos/food!

We are excited to perpetuate a tradition of making hundreds of lei laʻi for our incoming Spring cohort.

You may want to review Frequently Asked Questions asked by new students about Orientation.

Getting here…

When should I arrive?

If you are living on campus in the Residence Halls please take time to review the following important dates and rate information.

Travel Arrangements

As you are making your travel arrangements, be sure to check out our Travel Info page. You could be eligible for a discounted flight.

What others have said

We always like to assess the programs that we offer so that we can continue to improve the way in which we support the success of our students. Here are a couple of things our students told us last year about their Orientation experience:

  • 97% said “Orientation helped me feel welcomed to UH Hilo
  • 93% said “Through Orientation I learned about resources and offices on campus
  • 99% said “Orientation helped me feel better prepared to start my first semester at UH Hilo
  • 92% said “I would recommend this orientation program to other new students

One student said:

"I am a non-traditional transfer student and, even though I am not freshman age or a new student, I really got a lot out of attending orientation. I didn't feel singled out because of my age or where I'm from. In fact, I felt right at home because of the incredible diversity in age and ethnicity on campus. I'm glad I am attending UH Hilo and I would highly recommend attending it to my friends and family."

Another student said:

"It was very helpful in my transition into college, I recommend this program to new upcoming freshmen."